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Hot Rods How do you channel a body?

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by OldBlueOval, Jan 15, 2012.

  1. OldBlueOval
    Joined: Jan 10, 2006
    Posts: 197

    OldBlueOval
    Member
    from Upstate NY

    Too cold out to work in the garage! I did use the search but could not find what I want. Looking for ways to channel a body on my 1931 plymouth the floor in the car is not too bad looking for about a 4" drop. Just looking for ideas Thanks Joe
     
  2. Rickybop
    Joined: May 23, 2008
    Posts: 4,581

    Rickybop
    Member
    from Michigan

    There might not be any threads specific to channeling...the info might be buried in some of the build threads. Keep in mind, that when you do a search for "channel", you might not even see that word in the title of the threads...so use the "Search this thread" function, using that search term for each thread. Hope this helps. Good luck.
     
  3. lawman
    Joined: Sep 19, 2006
    Posts: 2,632

    lawman
    Member

    Here is the way my Grandson and I did his 38 Chevy truck.I'm sure others on this site have a better way but this was our's.Please add to this Guy's
    if you have some other ways. Our's was channeled 7 1/2" in the front and 3" in the back.
     

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  4. Roger Walling
    Joined: Sep 26, 2010
    Posts: 1,118

    Roger Walling
    Member

    Basicly a cars body is welded to the floor all along the sides ,front and back.
    To channel it, you must cut the body off of the floor and lower it the amount you want and reweld it.
    Not as easy as it sounds, lots of cutting and remanufacturing of new body mounts to the floor or frame.
     
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  5. need louvers ?
    Joined: Nov 20, 2008
    Posts: 11,995

    need louvers ?
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    There is a thread on "floor subframes" that pops up from time to time that shows a bunch of good pictures of stuff guys have built to replace floors after channeling. Check the seach under that or "subframes, floor".
    If you are asking how a car is channeled, you literally cut the floor out and drop the body over the frame rails. Putting structure back into the body and aligning the panels is a whole different deal though. If your floor is in good shape, I would think twice with that Plym... Those are damn good looking cars in their original form!
     
  6. brianj
    Joined: Jan 1, 2012
    Posts: 94

    brianj
    Member

    Just got done building a 32 plymouth coupe with my father- one thing to keep in mind is with a paralell leaf front (if you are keeping it) it will be tough to get the front down enough to not look odd with a channeled body. My father put a 6" drop axle on his and it still is quite high in front.
     
  7. Don's Hot Rods
    Joined: Oct 7, 2005
    Posts: 7,457

    Don's Hot Rods
    Member
    from florida

    Well, traditionally in the old days we put jackstands under the body and torched out the floor all around the perimeter of the body, then you and a couple of your buddies would let it drop down until it looked bitchin' and you would weld the body back to the floor. Thank God that part of tradition has been improved upon. :D We are a little neater than that today.

    But the idea is basically the same. You separate the body from the floor and let it slide over the rails until you get the desired look you want. Now you have to buld some sort of subframe to support all of the weight of the body and keep it in alignment. After you build the subframe you can start installing something like 18 gauge sheet metal cut to shape to make a new floor. The subframe generally is made from something like 1 x 1 or 1 x 2 rectangular tubing, but there are lots of other ways to do it.

    Don
     
  8. It will look even better channeled, and because your floors are in good shape it will make it even easier............ but it will not be real easy.

    you might also search using the term "body drop" its used mostly by younger guys specially the slammed and bagged truck guys. Not a term used by the traditional guys but its the same thing.
     
  9. Remember to cross-brace the body before you cut the floor out. This will stop the body distorting and keep things lined up while the floor is removed. Several pieces of tubing welded diagonally across the body will do the trick. All my doors (4) lined up after the new floor was in, so I highly recommend it. Its a pain in the ass welding the new floor framework in place while the cross bracing is in the way, but worth it.

    Also, I tacked some square tubing under the chassis to lower the body edges onto, so that it would be level with the bottom of the chassis rail. It makes it so much easier to align the body on the chassis rails, left & right, fore & aft. These can be removed after the new floor is in place.
    Hope this helps..
    Steve
     

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  10. Jims35
    Joined: Dec 22, 2009
    Posts: 275

    Jims35
    Member

    I used the words "body channel" and brought up some old information. I just looked at a small part of it.
     
  11. OldBlueOval
    Joined: Jan 10, 2006
    Posts: 197

    OldBlueOval
    Member
    from Upstate NY

    Sounds like a cool ride!! do you have any pictures? I'm changing the front suspension to a dropped I beam. I was trying to figure out if you remove the complete floor or cut around it? A lot of channeling that I found had no floors to start with.
     
  12. a boner
    Joined: Dec 25, 2004
    Posts: 2,330

    a boner
    Member

    Find someone with a 31 Plymouth body that has the floor rotted out, and trade him for yours, then drop the roached out body over the frame and build a new floor. You save some work and a good body at the same time.
     
  13. need louvers ?
    Joined: Nov 20, 2008
    Posts: 11,995

    need louvers ?
    ALLIANCE MEMBER


    That is absolutely what I meant! A full fendered hot rod '31 Plymuoth coupe has been on my someday list for a long time. In my opinion, The off brand cars seldom look good in traditional fenderless hot rod mode. Just an opinion, though.
     
  14. 46Steel
    Joined: Jun 5, 2008
    Posts: 124

    46Steel

    Here are some pictures of the 3" channel I did on my 48 F1. I removed the complete floor then rewelded to the cab.
     

  15. Years ago I worked in a fab shop the working engineer there (life long hot rodder) described it exactly as you did. He had before and after pictures of what he and a few buddies accomplished in a weekend on his Jordan roadster. If I remember right they "torched" the floor out by cranking up a Lincoln arc welder. Was running just a few days later. Believe it was channeled in the 6-8 inch range.

    Time frame for that was mid 50s and done in southeast portland.
     
    Last edited: Jan 15, 2012
  16. 31Vicky with a hemi
    Joined: Nov 11, 2008
    Posts: 12,681

    31Vicky with a hemi
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  17. I'm gonna channel y T Sedan 4". The subrails are shot. So, I'll brace everything up and cut them out. Next, I'll set the body on the frame blocking it up to where I want it. Build new subrails, sheet it with bead rolled panels and I'll be done with that aspect of the build.
     
  18. need louvers ?
    Joined: Nov 20, 2008
    Posts: 11,995

    need louvers ?
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    That wouldn't have been Harrison Miles, would it? I remember he wrote a short story about building a Jordan channeled over an "A" frame in high school.
     
  19. brianj
    Joined: Jan 1, 2012
    Posts: 94

    brianj
    Member


    Don't have any pictures- can get some eventualy. We used a speedway paralell leaf front axle with a 6" drop tube axle. we wound up leaving the body unchanneled and unchopped, and re-mounting the fenders.we were going to run fenderless, but the car wound up looking kind of awkward without them- nose high. the paralell front leaf axle is great, though- very stable.
     
  20. larry woods
    Joined: Jan 20, 2010
    Posts: 566

    larry woods
    Member
    from venice fl

    Lots of good advice above. the key is to brace it so it can't get out of whack! i did none of this when i did it under my granfather's maple tree. It is a bitch to get it back in shape. my driver's side is off just enough to be a nuisance at times but it has lasted for 50+yrs and at 70 i am not about to tweak it. you can see the results in my album and yes it still has the front paralell springs. good luck and keep us posted. by the way that maple tree was in lisbon ny. about as upstate as you get get without getting your feet wet or be in canada!
     
  21. I'll send you some pix of what I'm doing on mine. It's a 30 Chrysler coupe that was channeled back in 60's, I ended up redoing it because they welded the body to the frame and I wanted to be able to remove the body and they also didn't do a very good job either! Mine will be channeled 6".
     
  22. OldBlueOval
    Joined: Jan 10, 2006
    Posts: 197

    OldBlueOval
    Member
    from Upstate NY

    Cool If it's any easier my home email is smollno1@nycap.rr.com
    Thanks Joe
     
  23. lawman
    Joined: Sep 19, 2006
    Posts: 2,632

    lawman
    Member

    Here's what that channel job look's like now.
     

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  24. fossilfish
    Joined: Dec 16, 2010
    Posts: 315

    fossilfish
    Member
    from Texas

    My students and I channeled a 46 chevy cab. We did just that we made a 3X4" channel to fit over the frame rails the length of the cab then cut a channnel along the cab floors leaving the seat base to hold the cab structure stable. After we set the cab back over the rails we fabricated floors to fill in between the channels.
    There are photos in my profile if you want to see....the students did all the work.
     
  25. old soul
    Joined: Jan 15, 2011
    Posts: 1,095

    old soul
    Member
    from oswego NY

    There is no right or wrong way to do it. Doing it is an art. Your ethier an artist or your not.
     
  26. miraclepieco
    Joined: Mar 17, 2011
    Posts: 103

    miraclepieco
    BANNED

    Wow, you start with a plumb car? No old original 30's body I've ever worked on has been even close to square. I usually just cut everything out with abandon, which leaves the body flexible enough to re-align everything as I put it back together.

    Maybe the stuff I start with would be better off scrapped!
     
  27. TexasSpeed
    Joined: Nov 2, 2009
    Posts: 4,243

    TexasSpeed
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    Some good tips in here. The floor in my Model A isn't all that bad, just a couple replacements here and there. I plan to preserve the original floor but channel the body 4 inches to sit flush with the bottom of the frame.

    I'll be returning to this to study some more later.


    iPhone - TJJ app
     
  28. slepe67
    Joined: Jan 22, 2008
    Posts: 1,151

    slepe67
    Member

  29. OldBlueOval
    Joined: Jan 10, 2006
    Posts: 197

    OldBlueOval
    Member
    from Upstate NY

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